Sunday, October 16, 2016


I just realized that I didn't post Alex's letter from last Sunday since this week was so busy. His letters seem to be getting shorter and shorter. I've been trying not to write him much about him coming home, but there've been things I have needed to ask him the last few letters. Hopefully, he's still working hard and wanting to make every minute count.

Halloween fries at McDonald's. Not the best taste, but not the worst either.

For those of you in Utah, I hope you get enough rain. You can take
some of ours if you want, because we've got a lot.

Scripture of the week is Alma 7:23 "And now I would that ye should be
humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of
patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being
diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for
whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal;
always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive."

Kanji of the week is: 芋 pronounced "ee-moh" and means potato.

Once again, there is so much going on, and I don't feel like I could
type it all up. Things are great here, and we are having a good time
teaching all those who will listen to us. I hope that you all have a
good week!



Our district was pretty tired, so we decided to take a picture that
looked like we were all tired.
A random place in Odate that has these cool painting.
Funny English on the back of a car        

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Good Luck

General Conference will be shown through all of Japan next Saturday and Sunday. The time probably differs depending on the ward/branch you go to, but it's all available by next week. Because of that and district(stake) conference on the 22nd and 23rd, I only have one Sacrament meeting before coming back to America.

Don't ask me why the subject of this email is "Good Luck." That's just
the first thing that came into my head when I was thinking of the
subject line.

Scripture of the week is 2 John 1:6, "And this is love, that we walk
after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have
heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it."

Kanji of the week is: 再臨 pronounced "sigh-reen" and means second coming.

Again, there is just too much to write about this week. Not to mention
that all the weeks are just blurring together now. I would just like
to share with you all, that I felt the love of my Savior this week. As
we try our best, and do everything in our own power, we are supported
by the love and Atonement of Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter what
others may choose, so long as we are doing the things we are supposed
to. So please, keep trying your best--even if it gets hard. You will
be rewarded more than you can ever imagine.



I ate a salad of my own free will! It was pretty good, because I
put sesame seed dressing on it. Yum!

Sashimi (raw fish on top of rice).

A new Black Thunder bar that came out called "Dark Matter." It is
basically a normal size of the usually small "funsize" candy bar.

Some really cool sights we saw the other day -- this one and the next.

Ramen-flavored chicken nuggets

A really small apple I got off of a tree in Aomori (it was on
public grounds, so I'm sure it wasn't illegal).

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Elisa G Music

My amazing daughter Elisa has a YouTube channel to showcase her singing, and occasionally (not as often as I would like her to), she posts a new video. This is her latest one. She would LOVE if some people liked and commented on the YouTube video itself if you would like to.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Working Hard

Short email from Alex this week, but it came with a challenge to his family: 

I have recently been thinking a lot about temples, and how great they are. I am sure you are busy, but I thought it would be a great opportunity to all go to the temple together when I come back home. If possible, I would also like to do baptisms for our own family lines as a family. So I would like to challenge all of you back home to do family history work, and find at least one name each to take to the temple. I know that as you sacrifice time to save our kindred dead, your week will be smoother, you will have time to finish all that you need to do in the week, and the Spirit will be felt more strongly in the home. There is no better way of feeling the full blessings of the temple than to do work for your own family, no matter your age. We have the prophet's promise of that. A month should be plenty of time. :)
A picture we took because it looked cool, and we needed a picture to
send to Smith Kaicho for a Christmas project he's working on.

To Everyone:
This week has been tiring, but also very rewarding.

Scripture of the week is Job 5:17-18 "Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole."

Kanji of the week: 痙攣 pronounced "Kay-ren" and means muscle spasm/twitch.

To be honest there is just too much to write about from this week. I
would like to assure you all that I had a spiritual week filled with
many miracles, and we were able to help lots of people. I hope you all have a good week!



A Japanese style pig in a blanket I got from a convenience store

A cool looking shrine

A drawing from English class that I drew as students told me body parts

Curry udon that I had for lunch while writing emails at the hospital
today (free wifi)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rather Slow Week

From Alex's letter to me yesterday:
The month mark is coming up really close. I already passed my 1 year 11 month since entering the MTC date this last week. I bet you'll be happy to see me again, as I'll be happy to see you all again. It will be weird to be the missionary returning after so many years of watching other missionaries come back home to their waiting and loving families.

(About his homecoming talk back in Utah) I hope I have enough faith to give a talk in front of the largest congregation I've been in for two years. And be able to put all I want to say from two years of spiritual experiences into a ten minute talk. If there's anything I'm used to doing though, it's definitely doing things while dead tired. Even though I sleep eight hours a night, I am still exhausted every day. Despite that, I am still able to do all things the Lord wants me to, because as Nephi said, "the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way that they may accomplish the things which he commandeth them."

To everyone:

Takamatsu Lake, in Morioka
 This week was really slow. I don't mean it didn't have anything happen
in it, because it was really full, but it just seemed to drag on for a
long time. It's good, because I want as much time as possible here in
Japan, but was a really strange change of pace from the usual speed up
of time I've experienced my entire mission.

Scripture of the week is Mosaiah 4:9 "Believe in God; believe that he
is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth;
believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in
earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the
Lord can comprehend."

Kanji of the week: 伺う pronounced "ooh-kah-gah-ooh" and is a polite way
of saying "ask," "know," or "visit/come."

Monday was good, but I was sick all day. I had my voice back, but I
developed a fever that got pretty bad towards the evening. I was
feeling well enough to go visit an investigator, and so had one last
visit with him before Elder H left.

Tuesday was all travel. We went to Morioka, met Elder H's new
companion, and helped some missionaries get on their buses. One of
them was Elder A., my mission son, and it was good to see him
off to his new area, and probably where he'll be when I go back to
America. I also got to go a bit around Morioka before my companion
came and we headed back to Odate. Not much else was able to be done

A really big spider, but you can't tell in the photo
Wednesday we went and saw a less active. He usually has a shop open,
but he's closing it soon for a little while, and won't be able to meet
until October. He was going to come to Church on Sunday, but he
couldn't make it because of the festival that happened. We then went
and housed a lot, and even had some people listen to us for a while.
They were really nice people! In the evening we went to a member's
house as always, and had Family Home Evening with him. English class
was also fun, but not too much new to say there.

Thursday we had weekly planning, and after that we housed. We had lots
of more good conversations with people, and lots of people were nice
to us. There were also some really big Akita breed dogs, and they
weren't very happy. But they were in a cage, so everything was fine.

Friday was district training meeting. Our district leader is Elder
D (I can't figure out the spelling for the life of me), and
he's great. He's going home with me at the end of the transfer. This
last district is really awesome, and everyone is spiritually giant! We
housed a lot that day, but I don't remember any specifics. We met with
an investigator in the evening, and he was awesome. He still has his
troubles, but he's overcoming them all at his own pace, and that's all
we can ask. He want's to get baptized, and so hopefully he can realize
that soon.

Saturday was a bit of housing with not much that I can remember. It
was still fun, and we got lots of people to talk with us. There was
one college student who was really awesome, and we got lots of people
telling us to visit a family in the neighborhood because they are
Christian. They were busy when we went the first time, but we'll try
and go again. Then we had a great lesson with a different
investigator. He is really busy, but if he's ever home he's willing to
talk. It was a good get to know him lesson, and I feel like we were
able to help him out. English class was fun, especially because we
played "telephone," the game where you whisper a sentence into your
neighbors ear and see how much it changes by the end. It was really
fun, and the students liked it.

Sunday was good as well. I conducted the meeting again (my second
time) and did a better job this time. After dinner, we were able to
meet another investigator that we couldn't meet with for a while. He
was happy that we have been trying to visit him (he's really busy and
his schedule is not set at all). He's really nice, and wants to learn
more. Then we went to a less active's house and had a really good talk
with him about prayer. At the end he said a prayer that was really
good, and really heartfelt.

That's my week! Things are getting harder to write all in a short
paragraph, but I tried to share the most spiritual things that
happened this week. I hope you all have a good week!



A sign I made for Eikaiwa (English class)

Some jelly stuff a member made for us